Co-presented with 35mm Secret Movie Club!
(2009, Sony Pictures Classics, dir by Jacques Audiard, 155mns, 35mm, French with English Subtitles)
Un Prophète, like its title suggests, accomplishes something visionary and miraculous. A gangster crime epic that is at turns ultra-violent, stylish, spiritually illuminating, culturally astute, and of its moment. Un Prophètetells the story of the rise of Malik (a revelatory performance from Tahar Rahim), an Algerian French Muslim, from foot soldier to something seemingly impossible, within a Corsican crime gang run by lifer, badass, and kingpin, Cesar (Niels Arestrup owning every scene he is in) in a brutal French prison.
Winner of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Prix and generally agreed to be the best movie at the festival that year, Un Prophète goes on that very short list of Cannes winners along with The Third Man, The Wages of Fear, Taxi Driver, and Apocalypse Now among others as one of the absolute great works of international cinema. It is bracingly visionary, wholly original, and supremely entertaining in a way you will never be able to predict.